Trees add value to almost any property. Architects’ drawings usually include a tree or shrub to offset straight lines, soften sharp corners, accentuate geometric shapes and create an atmosphere.

When selling anything, eye appeal is the first consideration. If the first impression is pleasing then minor drawbacks can be overlooked. A few strategically-placed trees add monetary value beyond the mere cost of purchase and planting. Apart from future selling considerations, an aesthetically pleasing outlook makes life so much more enjoyable.

That plain muddy creek becomes a charming water feature when the bad parts are hidden by a weeping willow or graceful Taxodium mucronatum. These will both grow in wet muddy places but prefer dry ground with a high water table. Wet-tolerant ‘colour’ trees such as willow-leaved oak, pin oak or nyssa not only look wonderful in autumn near water but will attract ducks and other birds with their seeds. Some of the graceful, arching, clump bamboos such as Arundinaria falconeri or Bambusa gracilis look splendid by water. There is something restful about water and drooping foliage.

Avenues of single-species, symmetrical trees appeal to many. Phoenix palm in warmer places, Euc.citriodorum with its straight, white trunks, or some of the smaller graceful peppermint gums are always appealing. A long drive can take big trees but shorter drives need smaller trees in proportion. Plane trees with branches arching over the track can be pleasing. Avoid large, shady trees too close to the house or the house may become very dark. On the other hand, looking through or under a large foreground tree to smaller trees or shrubs behind gives perspective and creates distance. Use bold trunks and limbs to frame a special view and don’t seal yourself in - leave vistas to special features.

Most people find small clumps of trees look more natural and pleasing than single specimens. Tall, dark or sombre trees make a good background to enhance small, dainty and colourful shrubs. Think texture, colour and shape when looking for contrast or similarity. Bright gold azalea is flowering just as dark copper beech looks its best in spring; foxy red taxodium or pinkish rusty met sequoia show their subdued autumn colour and soft texture well against dark, shiny green yunan poplar, which will itself turn yellow several months later.

Scent is always welcome near the house. Port wine magnolia (Michelia figo), Buddleia salvifolia and osmanthus have sweet fragrance and crushed lemon-scented verbena leaves always appeals

This article is reproduced with the kind permission of the New Zealand Tree Crops Association.
Who is the NZ Tree Crops Association?
Our members include a real cross-section of people - home gardeners, orchardists, hobbyists, farmers, investors and so on. Some are big landowners, while others do not even have a backyard! Some are learners; others are experienced growers, yet others are researchers of high repute.
We share an interest in investigating new crops, improving existing varieties, and learning more about the care and management of a wide range of fruit and nut trees and other useful species.